Program will Directly Impact Physician Workforce Diversity in California and Beyond

LOS ANGELES, CA – Earlier this month, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) announced the launch of the University’s first independent 4-year medical degree (MD) program after receiving notice of preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LMCE). The new program will be the first and only such program offered through a Historically Black Institution west of the Mississippi and represents the culmination of a dream held by CDU’s founders, the surrounding community, and all the University’s subsequent leaders since it opened its doors in 1966.

Located in the heart of South Los Angeles, the home of more than 1 million residents and no MD programs, CDU is the second-more diverse university nationally in terms of student and faculty diversity. CDU is also one of only four U.S. Historically Black Medical Colleges and is a federally designated Historically Black Graduate Institution. The University is also a charter Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools member as well as a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Founded in the wake of the Watts Uprising with a vision of creating a world without health disparities, the new MD program is accepting applications for its charter class in July 2023 and will directly impact the diversity of the physician workforce in a time where currently more than half of all practicing physicians in the U.S. are white.

“This is a historic moment for CDU and our community, a moment when we make a significant stride towards our mission of cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations,” said David M. Carlisle, CDU President and CEO in an address to students, staff, faculty, and media during a press conference on campus. “Our community and in fact the entire western United States, has for too long been deprived of an MD program built from the ground up with diversity, equity, and inclusion fused into its very bones. No more. It is a great honor and achievement to announce to you that CDU will finally remedy this once and for all.”

CDU President and CEO David M. Carlisle addressing students, staff, faculty, and media during a press conference on campus. (Photo courtesy of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science)

The new program will be offered through CDU’s College of Medicine, which along with the College of Science and Health and the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing, make up the University’s three colleges. Instruction will initially take place in the College of Medicine’s current facilities on campus and will be relocated to a future state-of-the-art health professions education building on campus which is currently in the planning phase.

“The benefits of having more doctors of color in the mix are abundantly clear and supported by research. Doctors of color are more likely to practice in underserved communities, and patients of color have better health outcomes when attended to by a physician of the same ethnicity,” said Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Dean of CDU’s College of Medicine. “The successful accreditation and opening of this program after so much hard work by CDU staff and faculty is not just an amazing achievement, it’s a medical necessity that addresses the root cause of many inequities in healthcare.”

The CDU MD program will join more than 20 undergraduate degree, graduate degree, and certificate programs currently offered by the University, and will draw from a 40-year history of partnering with UCLA to train future doctors through a joint MD program. The new independent CDU program will be the first Historically Black medical degree program to open anywhere in the U.S. since 1981.

“We are greatly appreciative of the many people beyond our University, including the community, local, state and federal government representatives, partners, and stakeholders, as well as many dedicated professionals within CDU, who have contributed so much and labored so diligently for so long to bring this dream to a reality,” continued President Carlisle. “The Mighty Lion spirit runs deep with the extended CDU Community and this success stands as proof that there is nothing we cannot achieve when we work together towards common goals and the greater good.”

Information about the new program and application instructions to join the July 2023 charter class of the CDU Medical Degree Program can be found at www.cdrewu.edu/cdumd.

About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a private, nonprofit, community-founded, student-centered University committed to cultivating diverse health professions leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, clinical service, and community engagement. CDU is also a leader in health disparities research with a focus on education, training, and treatment for cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic, COVID, and HIV/AIDS. CDU was founded in 1966 in the unincorporated town of Willowbrook in the heart of South Los Angeles. CDU offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs including nursing, x-ray technology, medicine, biomedical science, public health, computed tomography, physician assistant, and psychology. For more information, visit www.cdrewu.edu.

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LOS ANGELES, CA – The Far Western Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated has gifted Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science with a $20,000 gift to provide scholarships to deserving students attending the university. The donation will fund the Alpha Kappa Alpha: Dare to Be Different – Dixon Scholarship Fund honoring the visionary leadership of 25th Far Western Regional Director Carol R. Dixon.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha: Dare to Be Different – Dixon Scholarship Fund will be awarded to two students per semester in $500 disbursements. Eligibility for the scholarship will be based on financial need, residency (student must reside within one of the nine states representing Alpha Kappa Alpha Far Western Region) and community service.

Carol R. Dixon, 25th Far Western Regional Director, is honored to continue the legacy of giving that Alpha Kappa Alpha has maintained for over 112 years. Regarding the gift, she said, “Charles R. Drew University is the only Historically Black Graduate Institution (HBGI) in California and remains one of our favorite partners. I am beyond honored to support this historic institution and contribute to the education and accomplishments of students so worthy of this assistance. Alpha Kappa Alpha has made many ground-breaking strides in the support of medicine and health equity. This scholarship is another step in maintaining that legacy.”

“We are grateful for this gift from Alpha Kappa Alpha and deeply appreciative that this esteemed national sorority shares our vision for the importance of education and the drive for health equity, particularly in low-income communities of color,” said Dr. David M. Carlisle, President and CEO of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. “I also want to extend my personal thanks to the 25th Western Region’s Director Carol R. Dixon for her leadership and long-time support of our University and mission.”

The Far Western Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. consists of chapters in nine states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington), which constitutes the Sorority’s largest geographic region.

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About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of nearly 300,000 members in more than 1000 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, Liberia, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, South Africa, and in the Middle East. Led by International President Dr. Glenda Glover, Alpha Kappa Alpha is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African American women.” For more information, visit www.aka1908.com.

About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
CDU is a private, non-profit student-centered minority-serving medical and health sciences University that is committed to cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, research, clinical service, and community engagement. For more information, visit www.cdrewu.edu.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a recipient of a $150,000 grant from Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH). The grant is a part of a $1 million pledge made by ABH to fight against systemic racism, oppression and injustice in light of the civil unrest taking place throughout the nation as a result of the systemic and unjust treatment of African Americans.

The grant will support general University operations and community engagement efforts. Since beginning the pledge in June 2020, ABH has donated over a quarter of a million dollars to institutions such as NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black Lives Matter, the Loveland Foundation and others.

“As founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills, it is my promise that the brand will remain a constant and vocal supporter of equality. We vow to use our platform and our privilege to amplify the voices of marginalized groups that deserve to be heard,” said Anastasia Soare, Founder. “We believe in Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science’s mission in fighting against health disparities among underserved, and fully support their commitment to community engagement.”

“We are deeply appreciative of Anastasia Beverly Hills for generous support and belief in our mission to educate diverse health professionals as well as our vision to attain a world without health disparities,” said Angela Minniefield, Senior Vice President of Advancement, Strategic Development & External Affairs at CDU. “Special thanks to our Alumni Relations and Corporative Giving manager Brittney Miller for facilitating this partnership, and we look forward to continuing a meaningful relationship with ABH through its community engagement pillar.”

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About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
CDU is a private, non-profit student centered minority-serving medical and health sciences University that is committed to cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, research, clinical service, and community engagement.CDU is a leader in health disparities research with a focus on education, training, treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic and HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit www.cdrewu.edu.